Former mayor with paedophile conviction jailed after changing his name

Ex-mayor, 59, with paedophile conviction for sex offences against young boys is jailed for 16 months after changing his name to stand in local elections

  • John Beirne, 59, was jailed after breaching the terms of his suspended sentence 
  • Changed name and tried to run for election to Wigan Borough Council in 2019
  • Former St Helens mayor convicted in 2017 for sex offences in 1970s and 1980s 
  • He admitted to touching and being touched by boys as young as eight years old 
  • Bierne, former UKIP and Lib Dem councillor was jailed for 16 months today

A former mayor with a paedophile conviction for sex offences against four young boys has been jailed for 16 months after changing his name to stand in local elections.

John Beirne, the former mayor of St Helens, Merseyside, was jailed today after he changed his name and applied to run for election to Wigan Borough Council.

Greater Manchester Police said Beirne, 59, was given a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, at Liverpool Crown Court in June 2017 after admitting historic sexual offences against boys aged between eight and 12.

The former mayor of St Helens, Merseyside, John Beirne, was jailed for 16 months after changing his name to stand for election following conviction for sexual offences against young boys 

The former UKIP and Lib Dem councillor, was placed on the sex offender’s register after admitting he sexually abused the boys in the 1970s and 1980s. 

If a person breaks the conditions of their suspended sentence they can be sent to prison and Beirne changing his name resulted in him being jailed for 16 months as per his original sentence. 

In March 2019, while subject to conditions of the sex offenders’ register, Beirne requested his name on the electoral roll be changed to John Blondel, police said.

Later that month he applied to run for election as an independent councillor in Wigan and signed as John Blondel to confirm he was not disqualified to run – despite his sentence barring him from standing as a councillor.

Council officials contacted police after discovering his real name.

The 59-year-old, of School Way, Pemberton, who had not contacted police to notify them of a name change, answered ‘no comment’ when interviewed by officers. 

Bierne was convicted of assault four young boys in the 1970s and 80s at Liverpool Crown Court (pictured) in 2017

In 2017 the Liverpool Echo reported Beirne had indecently assaulted one boy in a bedroom by touch his naked genitalia and thrust his naked genitalia against his in a shed. 

He also admitted doing the same to another boy on a grass area, making another touch him and vice versa. 

A fourth child was made to touch his genitalia and allow Bierne to touch them in a shed. Other accusations were also made but were not heard in court.  

Speaking about Bierne’s latest court appearance, Detective Sergeant Rob Catmore said: ‘Had John Beirne continued to abide by the terms of his original sentence he could have avoided jail.

‘But with only a matter of months left to serve he took the decision to change his name and attempt to re-enter politics.

‘I hope today’s result sends a clear message to other offenders who think they can flout the terms of a suspended sentence.

‘You might have avoided incarceration but you have still been found guilty of an offence and must abide by the clear terms and conditions imposed on you, or you will face further action.’

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